Well, as of yesterday, I am officially 35 years old. The good thing about spending so much time with people older than myself is that I always feel young. :) I really had a great day, between my students being extra well-behaved, my husband and son taking me to grab my favorite dinner (Chick Fil-A) on the way to a movie, and Julian sending me messages during the day saying I was the best mom in the whole world--it was a good day. We watched I Bought a Zoo at the dollar theater, and all I can say is, "Wow. What an incredible movie." Loved it. We just had a really nice time together. Julian said he felt bad that he had nothing to give me, but I found out that he was chosen to lead a devotional lastnight at his prayer group that he attends every Friday night, and I told him that, honestly, that was the best gift he could give me. He'd never, ever led a devotional before, so throughout the week I helped him pick a chapter out of Proverbs and he studied up on it. He was pretty nervous, but by yesterday afternoon, he said he felt pretty confident.
Now let me tell you the history leading up to that, because it's truly another one of those divine encounters I'm always talking about. When Julian was just getting ready to exit the orphanage and had nowhere to go, God let us know of a retired music teacher who is living in Colombia as a missionary who had a room available. However, she was experiencing incredible back pain and didn't know if she was comfortable bringing someone like him in due to her physical condition. They connected via phone, anyway, and he made the effort to go see where she lived and to meet her. Yet the day he chose was a day that she was in so much pain that she couldn't even come to the door. However, in a way no one ever could have planned, the neighbor actually saw him that day and invited him in for coffee. He found out that she was a Christian and attended the very church he'd attended as a child before ever entering the orphanage. For some reason, I just had this feeling that that neighbor was going to be very key in this whole story. Sure enough, because of her genuine hospitality that she'd showed him that very first day, after he did indeed move in with this retired teacher, he began attending a weekly prayer group at the neighbor's house. He goes faithfully every week, and it is obvious that they have really embraced him and become like his spiritual family. He is the youngest of them all. Isn't it like God to have more planned out than we ever could have? That's why people who are always planning too far ahead seem to walk around disappointed all the time. Their plan wasn't what God ever intended, and they're actually missing God and all the divine encounters He's arranged for them. I hope I miss less of them every day as I continue to learn to just let go of the reigns.
- I am a wife, daughter, mother, bilingual teacher, poet, author, women's Bible study teacher, world traveler, orphan advocate, and an adoptive mother. Our adoption journey has been filled with a lot of hurt and loss, along with even more hope, grace, and healing. Through it we have experienced more of God than we ever bargained for and have watched Him miraculously redeem our story when we surrendered all the broken pieces to Him.